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Thread: Scram Jets

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Lightbulb Scram Jets

    I stumbled upon this really interesting article on CNN... It's really interesting.

    SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) -- Australian researchers said an air-breathing hypersonic "scramjet" engine had successfully achieved supersonic ignition in the atmosphere for the first time -- reaching 7.6 times the speed of sound.

    Project leader Allan Paull said Friday data analyzed from the July 30 test showed the engine, which uses oxygen in the atmosphere to ignite hydrogen fuel, had reached Mach 7.6 -- a speed that would dramatically cut long-haul flight times around the world.

    "We do believe we achieved supersonic flight for the first time," Paull, who heads the University of Queensland "HyShot" programme, told Reuters after his team had finished analyzing the results from the experiment.

    Engineers say any commercial application is still years down the road but the successful test of the HyShot scramjet at least proves the technology is viable.

    The test over the central Australian desert of the air-breathing engine capable of speeds in excess of 5,000 km (3,100 miles) per hour was the first time engineers had managed to make a scramjet work in flight, outside an air tunnel.

    The team fired the scramjet engine into the sky on back of Terrier Orion Mk70 rocket, which took it into the upper atmosphere.

    The engine kicked into action on the way back down at 35 kilometers (22 miles) above the earth, with data transmitted by radio until it began to burn up.

    NASA tests failed
    A year ago, U.S. space agency NASA's test of its multimillion dollar, unmanned X-43A scramjet prototype failed and a previous attempt by the HyShot crew went awry when a rocket used to launch the engine span out of control.

    A dream of aviation researchers for decades, scramjets, or supersonic combustion ramjets, could one day allow aircraft to travel from London to Sydney in just two hours compared with more than 20 now -- making in-flight movies obsolete.

    But their first commercial application is more likely to be in satellite launching as they do not need to carry as much fuel with them as conventional rockets since they use the oxygen already in the atmosphere to ignite the hydrogen.

    The extra payload potential could dramatically slash satellite launch costs.

    Paull said the data analyzed from the July 30 test indicated the engine had reached Mach 7.6, or 7.6 times the speed of sound.

    "We received data for the full length of the 10-minute flight," he said.

    Low cost
    At a cost of just A$1.5 million ($810,000), the success came relatively cheaply compared with the tens of millions of dollars NASA has been investing in its prototype.

    NASA's scramjet was mounted on an aircraft whereas the HyShot scramjet engine was launched into the atmosphere on a rocket and plummeted back down to earth. The scramjet itself burned up at around 20 kilometer (12.4 miles) above sea level.

    The HyShot project was funded by defence authorities from several countries, including Australia, Britain, the United States and Japan.

    The University of Queensland said it hoped funding could now be found for continuing research into scramjets but it feared the success of HyShot could lead to the next stage of experiments being taken overseas where research pockets are deeper.

    "Australia has proved we can develop this technology at a fraction of the cost of overseas programmes," university vice chancellor John Hay said in a statement.

    "We must now build on success and secure the programme in Australia so the intellectual property is not lost to the country," he added.


  2. #2
    Hi mom!
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Yeah, this is definately a thumbs up for those aussies. The experiment was like two weeks ago, but the first testresults have just been analised. There seems to have been just one glitch in the entire flight: some control mechanism for altitude-control seems to have failed, but a software backup took over the job.
    I wish to express my gratitude to the people of Italy. Thank you for inventing pizza.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Hoorah, another way of quickly burning up fossil fuels.

    Not like we need any more anyway

  4. #4
    The Doctor Und3ertak3r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002

    Hoorah, another way of quickly burning up fossil fuels.
    what fossil fuels...did I mis something in the story?
    "Consumer technology now exceeds the average persons ability to comprehend how to use it..give up hope of them being able to understand how it works." - Me http://www.cybercrypt.co.nr

  5. #5
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    If they're really in such a hurry to get
    from London to Sydney, why don't they
    dig a tunnel through the earth and
    "take the lift".
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  6. #6
    Here's a good question: How did people justify negative antipoints for a news post? He didn't WRITE the f'ckin' thing.
    Hic ego barbarus, sum quillo non intelligor illis.
    Because they do not understand me, I am a barbarian.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    7.6 mach.......
    7.6 mach.......
    7.6 mach.......
    7.6 mach.......
    7.6 mach.......
    ........................................................................................Holy sh!t
    [pong][gloworange]Tool Rules[/gloworange][/pong]

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